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At the Women’s Defensive Handgun Class this past weekend, we saw a most unusual sight. When Mary went to reload her new Ruger LCR 9mm revolver after a drill in which she only fired four times, the cylinder would not open. It took a couple of moments for us to discover the reason. A bullet was sticking out of the front of the cylinder chamber to the right of the barrel! What! Another moment of thought and we slowly tilted the barrel upward and sure enough the bullet disappeared and we were able to open the cylinder! When we pulled the moon clip out, there was the case with powder spilling out and no bullet. A little more tilt of the barrel upward and out slide the bullet! This was ammunition from a reputable manufacturer of practice ammunition. The best guess is that it was a round which was not adequately crimped and the recoil energy from firing the other four rounds jarred the bullet loose. When Mary titled the barrel downward to open the cylinder to reload (with moon clips she had to reload all five rounds at once), the loose bullet slide forward and thus prevented the cylinder from opening. Just when you think you have seen most everything the most unusual pops up!
Jack asked, "How do I even convince my wife to carry a flashlight? She doesn’t even think she needs to have one of those let alone thinking about protecting herself from bad guys!"
Mabel says, "Start by giving her a small flashlight. Anything from one that goes on her key ring to a small one to slip in her handbag. If you discover (by asking) that she hasn’t used it after having it for awhile, wait for that perfect time when you are out and about together when a flashlight would be useful and ask to borrow it. Tell her how glad you were that she had it for you to borrow! (Ignore the one in your pocket!) It is a start for her to learn about what is "useful" to her. You are not the only one Mabel has heard this from!
Spending the second day on the range at Gunsite with custom 1911s from Robar was an extraordinary experience! After using Glocks on the first day, trying to compare that with 1911’s on the second day is the well known apples to oranges comparison. With a history more than twice as long as Glocks, the 1911 is still an ever popular handgun.
All that said, here are some observations after working exclusively with 1911’s on the second day. There was little doubt that each of the participants scored higher on the same proficiency test with the 1911s than they did with Glocks! One comment was that 1911s are more forgiving, but that has to be defined as the result of a shorter and lighter trigger press. Either way, the results were fantastic! The fundamentals skills don’t change and still must be well practiced, but there is no doubt one can be very accurate and go very fast with 1911’s! Did you want that in 45 ACP or 9 mm?
But, on the other side of the coin, cleaning a Glock can be done quickly and there are fewer parts to keep track of! Why did that 1911 spring go flying trough the air as if jet propelled? Just be sure that internal parts from either 1911s, Glocks or any of your other handguns are coated with Robar’s NP3. That facilitates the quick, easy and thorough cleaning of all the parts and pieces of any handgun.
Below are pictures of the custom 1911s from Robar with a description.
Top pistol – RC-1911JCP in Black Satin Roguard and NP3
2rd Row from Top – (left) RC-1911CQB in PolyT2 Tan (right) Colt M45A1
3rd Row from Top – (left) RC-1911TSP in PolyT2 Gun Metal Grey (right) RC-1911 in PolyT2 Dark Green
Bottom Row – (left) Caspian 1911 in PolyT2 Black (right) RC-1911 in Black Satin Roguard and NP3
Also shown are Raven Concealment Holsters and the new SEAL1 cleaning kit.
Robar Guns has long been the leader in grip reductions for Glocks, but they have now come up with the second modification which cinches the deal for making Glocks or Springfield XDs useable for people with smaller hands and shorter fingers than the average person. By carving away material from under the trigger guard right where the trigger guard and the frame meet, they have created an perfect indentation for the middle finger of the strong hand to snuggle up into tightly. It’s called the High Grip Modification and that is exactly what it does. Combined with a standard grip reduction, it allows the smaller than average strong/master hand to engage the entire grip at a higher position than the original design. The result is the trigger finger then has a shorter reach to the trigger. The small hand can now achieve a grip which is closer to the ideal of having the barrel and forearm in a straight line. The need to compromise and therefore reduce the effectiveness of the grip by turning the strong hand around to the side of the grip to reach the trigger is no longer necessary. After years of frustration with pairing a smaller than average hand with the grip of a Glock 19, last week at the Writer’s Conference at Gunsite, I was able to shoot over a hundred rounds without any the usual malfunctions caused by a less than adequate grip. The same modifications but on a Glock 43 were excellent as well.
Now add a FALX trigger by Overwatch Precision which will sit further back within the trigger guard than the original trigger thus enhancing the shorter reach to the trigger. This all for the completes the perfect package of modifications for small hands.
And two other modifications are icing on the cake. One is having material scalloped out from around the magazine release button and replacing that button with one from Vickers. This allows easy access to a user friendly button. The Vickers slide stop lever is also user friendly. There is a small rolled edge at the top which helps the thumb stay in place when applying upward pressure to the lever.
All of these modifications can be excellent changes for anyone, but perhaps they will be most particularly useful for women who have struggled to use a Glock or Springfield XD, which is a little bit or a lot too big for their hand. Here are true solutions they never knew were possible. Thank you Robar Guns!
What an awesome three days we had last week at the Robar Writer’s Conference. Each day was filled to the brim with information supplied by our wonderful host, Freddie Blish, owner of @Robar Guns, along with two (out of 7) of his knowledgeable and competent gunsmiths, Jesse and Jim. And, to top it all off, the weather was perfect and what better range location could there have been than at @Gunsite.
Day One was a chance to try all the difference customizations offered by Robar for Glocks and Springfield XDs. Sounds easy enough until we realized we would be trying out these features while working on the challenges presented to us by instructor Jeff Gonzales! No slacking allowed! What a grand opportunity to fail! That of course, is another way of saying that a lot of learning was taking place!
Day Two we learned about, and experienced, the variety of options available for 1911’s from Robar in both 9mm and 45 ACP. Exciting, demanding and challenging. Freddie put us through all the same drills as the first day. The differences in performance from the day before were very interesting!
Day Three was for the Robar PolymAR rifles. Short distances, long distances, slow shots and timed shots, standing or prone our skills were challenged again while the rifles performed flawlessly. Freddie presented some "eye opening" experiences for us with optics as well.
And, each day we had to clean the guns we had used! Actually, that was the easy part as will be explained.
More details to follow!
Jim asked, "How do I convince the female agents in our "plain clothes" agency how important it is to carry their issued weapon consistently? They have no problem giving me a list of reasons of why not to carry!"
Mabel says, "Jim. I asked a woman who is recently retired from an agency which also worked "plain clothes" and "undercover" to tell us her thoughts on this critical subject because as a supervisor she too heard the "list" of reasons why not to carry from her agents. Here is her comment.
"Obligation – something (as a formal contract, a promise or the demands of conscience or custom) that obligates one to a course of action." In our roles as police officers, we swear an oath or obligation the first day on the job. That obligation speaks to our newfound responsibility to the community we serve as well as our fellow law enforcement officers.
In my particular discipline, we worked in a plainclothes/covert unit exclusively and carried the issued handgun in a concealed manner under ordinary street clothes or business attire. Considering the normal attire, it was easy for Agents to "get away with" not carrying the issued handgun while on duty, in violation of department policy. Some Agents were guilty of this, especially when in the office completing "administrative duties". They complained that the equipment wasn’t comfortable and they were in a "secure building" after all. Desk drawers were the holster of choice for some agents. Our female agents were more likely to not carry their weapon than our male agents. Why does a perfectly reasonable and conscientious agent in almost every aspect of their profession chooses to fail their obligation over this issue?
Consider the effects of that decision to not carry on your partners and their mindset. Do they ask you if you have your weapon before you leave the office to work in the street? Do you think they wonder if you’ll have their back if you can’t even carry your issued weapon? How many times have you gone home unarmed because you forgot it in your desk drawer? What example are you setting for the other officers in your agency? If you aren’t concerned about what others think about you and your conduct as a police officer, at least consider what your partner thinks. You know, the agent that you spend more time with than your own family some times. The one that you count on when it’s just the two of you in the mud and blood and the beer.
Trust is hard earned. Trust between partners is even more precious. Trust isn’t issued to you with your shield and equipment. Trust comes from doing the job everyday and being the officer that your partner counts on. Your partner deserve more from you than your desire to ease your discomfort. I have to believe that the officer standing beside me is just as committed to the obligation as I am. Just as committed to my safety as I am to theirs. I’m obligated to protect my community and my partner! I can only do that if my tools are at the ready – all of my tools!
It’s still a tough job for females. There is still an expectation that we will fail. I will always remember the first female agent on our job. She worked undercover investigations and kicked ass and took names in the early days of women in policing. What I remember most were the stories that some of the older male agents told about her and how well she did her job. Those agents that I had so much respect for, respected her for her abilities. We strive to be part of a team, to be a partner in this profession. She was the example that I followed.
There is never an excuse to be unarmed while on duty. Let us resolve to be worthy of their trust and uphold the obligation that we swore. After all, someone is watching you, trying to find an example to follow. Don’t let your guard down – ever. Always Victorious!
These law enforcement firearms instructors at the Regional IALEFI Training Conference in Bend, OR are experiencing the challenges of learning to shoot a handgun with a grip too large to hold comfortably or efficiently. They are further burdened with extra weight hanging from their hands, much as a smaller-statured officer often experiences when using a handgun. Extra weight eventually takes it toll and changes body posture.
It is essential for male instructors to experience these effects if they are to overcome the challenges of teaching women to shoot!
In April I had the privilege and honor to teach Handgun/Patrol Rifle at the first annual “Behind the Badge: Women in Law Enforcement Survival Training” held at the Arkansas Law Enforcement Training Academy in Camden, AR. Schawntell Arberry was the courageous ALETA training instructor behind this incredible event. She was looking for a way to enhance and promote survival training for women officers and she accomplished it very well!
Schawntell had attended my class, “Challenges in Teaching Firearms to Female Officers” at the 1013 ALEETA conference in Wheeling, IL. When she returned to Arkansas, she was determined to create an all women’s training conference for women officers and taught by women. The attendees where highly motivated, worked with incredible effort, and their successful accomplishments were the best reward an instructor coulud ask for!
Did you see this?
MARION, IN – An intruder didn’t get away with anything except for injuries after an Indiana couple sent him running from their home.
A robbery suspect broke into a detached garage in Marion, Ind. on Monday night, police said.
The suspect reportedly grabbed a large wrench and duct tape and then broke some glass to get into the couple’s home. The homeowners, believed to be in their 60s, confronted the man after he broke in through their back door.
Authorities said the suspect asked Don Kearney for his gun, but he said he did not have one. That’s when Patty Kearney asked the suspect if he had a gun. He said no and she began beating him with a wooden back scratcher she had been carrying, police said.
Patty then picked up the large wrench the suspect had laid down and continued to beat him, police said.
“I don’t think he expected an overweight woman on oxygen to attack him. I really don’t,” Patty said.
Patty said the intruder had ordered her to use the duct tape to tie up her husband, but she said she knew if she tied him up they would be done. She said anger eclipsed her fear and she instinctively fought to protect her family.
The suspect ran away from the home and the couple was not injured. The man was described as white, 5 feet 7 inches and was last seen wearing a green sweatshirt and a plastic mask over his face.
The Kearneys have since added security measures to their home including an alarm system.
This is an interesting article that appeared in Combat Handguns (May 2014) about a class Vicki taught in September 2013 at Hillsdale College in Michigan.
For the Ladies Only column in the May 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, contributor Betsy Brantner Smith attended a recent Ladies for Liberty self-defense course at Michigan’s Hillsdale College. Brantner attended the course with a group of women from eclectic backgrounds, a group she described as including “doctors, ranchers, horsewomen, teachers, tennis players, homemakers and more.”
“The first morning of this five-day event began in the classroom with founding instructor Bonita Fraim talking about the range bags we’d been issued and how students could purchase the same Smith & Wesson M&P handgun that we’d be using all week. Smith & Wesson was a major sponsor of the event, providing range bags, hats, T-shirts and other free goodies for the students,” Smith says in her article.
Smith continues, “Bonita then turned the classroom over to Defense Training International’s (DTI) Vicki Farnam, our lead firearms instructor for the week. Vicki is a veteran police and military firearms instructor…She brought with her an eclectic and dynamic group of three additional female instructors, including a cop, an engineer and her daughter, Wendi, a rancher from Wyoming. In her familiar no-nonsense tone, Vicki told us that the week would be a tough and challenging one, but that we would ‘be rewarded in the end.’”
At the range, Smith describes a detail-oriented learning environment that helped even first-time shooters feel comfortable sending rounds downrange. “The staff taught us a thumbs-up way to grip a pistol, they called it ‘flying thumbs,’ which would become one of the familiar reminders while on the range. Vicki finds this to be a good grip for small-handed people, especially women,” says Smith. “By that first afternoon women who had never touched a firearm were proudly wearing one on their hip. Hillsdale College and Vicki Farnam’s staff had set the tone for success.”
To read the full article, check out the May 2014 issue of COMBAT HANDGUNS, available on newsstands January 28, 2014. To subscribe, go to http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/subscribe/combat-handguns/.
– See more at: http://www.personaldefenseworld.com/2014/01/preview-self-defense-101-ladies-liberty/#ladies-for-liberty-firing-range
Here is a link is to an article posted on www.ravelingroup.com written by a young woman who attended a defensive handgun class that John and Vicki both taught in Michigan in April.
Recently, I spent an early Spring weekend at my very first Defense Training International (DTI) course instructed by John Farnam and his wife, Vicki Farnam. The basic DTI Defensive Handgun course was a great introduction to build a solid foundation of gun-handling skills and drills in response to prospective real life scenarios of how someone could (and should!) respond to a threat.
Regardless of whether you carry a concealed handgun every day or simply keep a defensive handgun around the house for protection, this Basic Defensive Handgun Course teaches you how to properly handle your firearm safely and competently and develop a plan of how and when to deploy your lifesaving equipment.
John Farnam Trains for Real Life
John Farnam engages his students with a mixture of witty repertoire and vast amounts of practical knowledge. His rigorous instruction is based on his own real-life experiences as a combat tested Marine in Viet Nam, a police officer in Wisconsin and currently as a sworn deputy sheriff in Colorado. John puts particular emphasis on safe gun-handling and defensive response techniques. His training includes scenarios that simulate real life scenarios that may require you to shoot but also, not to shoot. His training reinforces disengagement and awareness. The modified TQ-19 target in the photo above was specially designed by John Farnam and his affiliate instructor, Marcus Ward, for defensive firearm practice and is available through LE Targets
Vicki Farnam: Passion for Overcoming Challenges
Vicki Farnam instructs alongside her husband and also offers “Women’s Only” courses. In addition to her almost 30 years as a defensive firearm instructor with DTI, Vicki is an educator and historian, Vicki leads with passion and empowers her students and fellow instructors to adapt training techniques in order to overcome physical challenges. Vicki generously offered one-on-one instruction to me and other students with smaller body types on how best to deploy and use my handgun. She also gave several helpful suggestions about other handguns that may suit smaller hands such as mine more than my Robar grip reduced Glock 19.
Incredibly Talented Affiliate DTI instructors
Longtime students of DTI can attain affiliate instructor status. They sometimes travel great distances to assist John as he and Vicki as they present their DTI training to civilians, law enforcement, the Military and Government Agencies throughout the US. These affiliate instructors are a huge perk in attending these courses for the student. Taking time from their varied full-time jobs, Tommy, Steve, Jeff and Joe helped me with vigilant observation, unique insights and encouragement as I practiced the drills and skills that John Farnam demonstrated.
Student-participants at DTI courses are expected to come prepared. I highly recommend that you put on your holster and other range gear and get familiar with how your handgun operates before attending one of the DTI handgun courses. I found it to be a huge advantage to feel comfortable handling the basic operations of my firearm because a lot of new practical skills are introduced and practiced in the short time frame of a weekend course.
Be Prepared to Work Hard
John Farnam doesn’t discriminate against gender, race, age, size, or personal history. His methodical and practical training is unbiased which is particularly great because it pushes you beyond your preconceived idea of your capabilities.
Focus on Your Success in Training
John Farnam instills in each student a serious, competent and reassuring approach to defensive firearms. He leaves no room for complacency. This course was definitely a life-changing experience for me; the training gave me a glimpse of what I’m capable of and what I need to do to improve my skills. I learned so much more that if I just went to the range to practice my accuracy. I discovered the basis of most of my misses wasn’t due to incompetence, but had more to do with my tendency to over-think my objective. The best advice I can think to give may sound blunt but simple: Listen and shoot. Don’t dwell on the misses and focus on your successes. The Rotator® Rotary Action Steel Target pictured below is a great training aid that reinforces a focus on your success.
The best parts about the course are the teachers. The fact is that they all want you to thrive, and to the best of their abilities, they will try to get you to improve in the shortest time frame possible.
If you’ve been on the fence about a Farnam course, do it now. There’s a series of DTI courses in Rochester, IN, May 3rd through May 10th, 2014. I would encourage everyone to attend. I know there’s still a few open spots Call: 970-482-2520 or Contact DTI for registration and information. Courses offered: defensive handgun, women’s defensive handgun, women’s urban rifle, urban rifle and defensive shotgun.
If you do decide to “bite the bullet” (pun intended) and attend a DTI Course, take time to share a breakfast or evening meal with the Farnams and the affiliate instructors. You have an opportunity to swap experiences and gain insight about the great people teaching you.